BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bardstown is being recognized for creating jobs and bringing business to the Bluegrass, and the town is now playing a role in statewide success.
"It's very exciting," said Bardstown Mayor John Royalty.
He says he's proud of his small town of 13,000 and its recent accomplishments.
"We have good industry here and good employment," said Royalty.
Bardstown created 166 jobs last year, moving them 400 new jobs in the last seven years. One of the most recent new businesses to add jobs is a Zaxby's restaurant on N. 3rd Street that's set to open on Monday.
Voted "The Most Beautiful Small Town in America," Bardstown is now being recognized for its growing economy. It's also earned the title of one of the top micropolitans in the United States. Micropolitans are usually considered urban areas with populations between 10,000 and 49,000 people.
Since 2008, more than 40 projects have brought in $179 million in investments. Investments that are made into historic downtown and the entire county.
"Being between Louisville and Lexington is huge for us," said Kim Huston with the Nelson County Economic Development Agency.
Huston says Nelson County was recently named one of the top 20 counties in the country for economic growth by Site Selection. The national publication awarded Kentucky the 2014 Governor's Cup.
"That's where companies are looking that's where the site consultants are looking and trying to find their next great location," said Huston.
This 106-page guide shows why the Commonwealth has what it takes and why it's the right choice for business leaders.
The hope is to attract even more big names like GE and UPS, car companies and those interested in bourbon – like The Bardstown Bourbon Company opening next year and creating 35 new jobs.
"Kentucky's exports have hit an all-time high," said Governor Steve Beshear.
Because of that record growth, the state has a new trophy. Governor Beshear showed it off Wednesday in Bardstown.
"We create a personal relationship between companies and us and they know they can trust us to keep our word,” said Beshear. “We know we can trust them and together we create that partnership that makes them feel at home."
Even if that home only has 13,000 residents.
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